Opinion piece: 2023 and the ever-evolving channel

By Ahmed El-Besary, Vice President, Channel Sales & Marketing. Anglophone Africa, MEA at Schneider Electric

This year saw the business landscape evolve at quite a pace; adopting carw that streamline and optimise efficiencies and operations.  To this end, the channel has also evolved, keeping trend with the resultant requirements and newfound opportunities.

An important part of this evolution has been digitalisation. It continues to play an important role in the channel’s response to the changing business requirements.  In fact, many channel partners now are building robust online platforms to target a new breed of tech-savvy consumers.

This shift towards e-commerce is also fuelled by customers’ growing confidence in online transactions.  However, in order to provide a robust and reliable online service, channel players must ensure that they offer a seamless service, from product discovery to timely delivery.

As a vendor partner, we’re actively supporting our distributors in South Africa in adapting to this digital transformation. This includes various elements, which start with assisting distributors in selecting the right products tailored to their target markets. 

Furthermore, we offer comprehensive support, including sales, logistics, and technical assistance. We also aid our distributors in generating demand by collaborating with businesses, ensuring a smooth flow of products from distributor, reseller and retail partners to end user.

Channel partnership is key

There is no doubt that the South African channel plays an all-important role in driving growth and expanding market reach.  To this end, we encourage vendors to invest in their channel partners, integrating them as brand ambassadors and recognising their expertise and diversity across different business and regions. 

Our channel partners’ entrenched expertise enables us to, as a vendor, effectively reach our various target markets.  At Schneider Electric, our channel model also places emphasis on aligning our partners with our core values which include people, sustainability, and the environment. We believe our partners have an important part to play in our journey as one of the most sustainable companies in the world.

Schneider Electric has been collaborating with the South Africa channel for decades and throughout we have consistently developed new programmes that enhance our partnership with our valuable distributors.

Our channel partners’ growth and wellbeing are ingrained in our corporate strategy.

Speaking volumes of the success of our channel programme, we have a number of former employees who are now successful partners, again demonstrating our commitment to treating our partners as part of the Schneider Electric family.

To strengthen our collaborative efforts, we continue to rollout initiatives and platform that provide important differentiators in a highly competitive industry.  One such example is our new digital transformation initiative that will strengthen our distribution network.

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